- Border Closure: NCS Now Generates Over N5b Daily – Hammed Ali
Since President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the closure of the Nigerian land border with the Republic of Benin and Niger, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has been generating between N4.7 billion and N5.8 billion daily.
Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General, NCS, made the statement during his meeting with the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance working on the 2020 – 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
He also stated that the service realised a record N9.2 billion in one day in September, the highest in a single day.
According to him, the partial closure forced importers that normally use the Benin Republic to import goods to start using Apapa or Tin Can Island, hence the service was able to collect duty on those goods.
He said: “When we closed the border my fear was that our revenue is going to drop. To be honest our revenue kept increasing.
“There was a day in September that we collected N9.2billion in one day. It has never happened before. This is after the closure of the border and since then, we have maintained an average of about N4.7billion and N5.8 billion on a daily basis which is far more than we used to collect.
“What we have discovered is that most of those cargoes that used to go to Benin (Republic), shipped to Benin, continue and then discharged and smuggled into Nigeria, now that we have closed the border, they are forced to bring their goods to either Apapa or Tin Can Island and we have to collect duty on them.
“If that would continue to us it is a welcome situation. As a matter of fact, to answer your question, our revenue has not reduced; it is increasing as a result of closing the border.”
This a positive news for the Federal Government, who has been working on plans to up revenue generation, especially with global oil prices falling following Saudi attacks.
Let us hope the Federal Executive Council will put a stop to the proposed increase in Value Added Tax and the tollgates.
Meanwhile, traders in Benin Republic are already feeling the heat as businesses are said to be losing millions on a daily basis.
Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS
Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.
“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.
“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.
Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.
The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.
He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”
Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.
“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.
“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”
Scarcity of Day-Old-Chicks Cripple Poultry Farmers in Akwa Ibom
Despite billions of Naira spent on Akwa Prime Hatchery and Poultry Limited by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, poultry farmers in the state said they had to order day-old-chicks from outside the state as the 200,000 capacity poultry farm developed specifically to make day-old-chicks and other poultry products available at affordable prices is almost empty at the moment.
The farmers expressed frustration over many challenges they face in the course of bringing day-old-chicks from outside the state. Usually, Ibadan, Enugu and sometimes as far as Kaduna, while the hatchery built and inaugurated in 2016 remains idle.
Mr Ekot Akpan, one of the poultry farmers who spoke with the pressmen said the state had not had it this bad.
Akpan said: “For the 12 years that I have been in poultry farming, this is the first time that poultry farmers have been so harshly affected by both economic and non-economic factors. And, quite unfortunately, nobody is available to offer any explanation.
“Farmers have been left at the whims and caprice of owners of the means of production.
“There seems to be no government regulation of the poultry industry. How, do you explain a situation where you wake up suddenly and the price of a day old chick is selling for N600, a bag of feed goes as high as N6,000.
“And, in a state that government claims to be pursuing agriculture as one of his cardinal programmes.
“For instance, in 2016, the state government said it has constructed an hatchery, and the intention according the government was to ensure availability of day old chicks at affordable price to farmers, but, quite, unfortunately, that effort has not yielded any tangible result.
“Farmers are still getting their day old chicks from Ibadan, Kaduna, and Enugu. So, the question now is where is the hatchery?
“One would have expected that farmers would be buying old chicks at humane prices, but, from all indications they acclaimed hatchery is a ruse. So, which one is the Akwa Prime Hatchery producing,” he said.
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